Chinese Talent, American Enterprise

④ Chinese scientists are among the most important collaborators of the United States.

Looking at patents that have multiple inventors from different countries, including the United States, we find that the United States’ top innovation partners, measured by volume of patents, are Germany, Canada, Great Britain, China, Japan, and India, in this order. As is shown by Figure 4, U.S. collaborations with inventors residing in China show the strongest upward trend.

Although only about four percent of the U.S. biotech patents include foreign collaborators, over 28 percent of these collaborative patents are among the most cited in the academic literature.  In addition, biotech research and development increasingly involves multi-country collaboration even if they may not end up to be filed as collaborative patents.[1] This is amply shown by recent collaborative efforts to develop coronavirus vaccines.

Figure 4

[1] According to Mark Cohen, different practices of foreign filing licenses (for applications overseas) in the U.S. and China may warrant an American company to transfer the final stage of the research to the U.S. even if the Chinese inventor is resident in China (Cohen and Rogers 2020). The situation with international collaboration, especially between the U.S. and China, could change because of the more extensive controls proposed in the United States.

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